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1/27/19 Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Deacon Tony

Deacon Tony Conti

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 69

  • From our second reading: “Now you are Christ's body, and individually parts of it.
  • In this passage, St. Paul is not only speaking of the mystical body of Christ, but also of the entire body of humanity
  • “…But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another.”
  • We can get so caught up in our daily lives, in the daily news of the world; that we lose sight of the big picture of life
  • The big picture that we’re but one of approximately 7.7 billion souls inhabiting this planet…
  • The big picture that the only world we ever knew… is nothing but a tiny spec amid the vastness of a universe estimated to be approximately 13.8 billion years old…
  • Until we can begin to appreciate the big picture of life – We’ll continue to believe that God sees and thinks and acts as we do…
  • We’ll continue to believe that God hates our enemies as much as we do…
  • We’ll continue to believe that God promotes division as we often do…
  • We’ll continue to believe that God loves some people more than others…
  • Without a wider and more expansive perspective of life, we can get lost in the pettiness of our human condition…
  • The question that we must all ask at one point or another in our lives; is the age old question: “Is this all there is?”
  • Without a clear appreciation of just how big life really iswe’ll be unable to find the answer
  • Do we really believe that God put us here to divide, and hate, and achieve at the expense of others?
  • Do we really believe that life is a contest to see who can accumulate more at the end?
  • Do we really believe that the precious gift of life which we all share is intended for us to live such a shallow existence?
  • Our lives are much bigger than we can ever imagineOur lives are far more significant than we can ever comprehend
  • If we learn nothing from Jesus’ brief sojourn on this earth, we should come to realize that this is not the world that God envisioned for the human race...
  • Jesus’ statement in the gospel of John (8:32)… “that that the truth will set us freeshould be taken literally...
  • The truth will set us free from hatred, and division, and violence, and war, and greed and so many other vices that only serve to degrade our human condition rather than enrich it...
  • But the truth is not easily found while we remain on the treadmill of life, focusing solely on our own needs and wants
  • The truth cannot be appreciated as long as we insist upon differentiating ourselves from others based upon our skin color, or our national backgrounds, or our belief systems
  • The truth reveals that we’re all brothers and sisters on the same journey home…
  • The truth helps us to begin to see Christ in others…
  • The truth reveals that we were made to live together in peace and harmony as one body of humanity made in the image and likeness of the one God
  • God will wait as long as it takes for us to realize that we’re all in this together...
  • Most organizations today have mission statements…
  • If there were a mission statement for what it means to be a Christian… Jesus’ proclamation of the prophet Isaiah in today’s gospel would certainly fit the bill…
  • The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
  • How would our worldview change if we tried to live this in some small way in our own lives?
  • How could the world change if everyone took this mission statement to heart and tried to put it into practice in every choice that they made?
  • We weren’t put on this earth to wait for God to straighten out the mess we’ve made
  • And we weren’t put on this earth to just make it to the end so we could one day enter a better world
  • Our world has been redeemed by Christ’s life, death, and resurrection… But Jesus’ work and mission was not meant to end
    • It’s now our work
    • It’s now our mission
    • It’s now our responsibility
  • None of this implies that we’re to quit our jobs, abandon our families, and go off to do missionary work…
  • What it means is that we’re to allow God to change our worldview… To begin to see the big picture of life and our role in it
  • What it means is that we’re to allow this new worldview to influence our daily choices and decisions…
  • What it means is that we can serve God right where we are, not by changing our state of life, but by changing how we see the world
  • Every decision we make each day affects others…
  • When we allow God to help us see differently… Life changes for the better, one choice and one decision at a time…
  • When we allow compassion, and tolerance, and understanding to influence our outlook, everything changes
  • It’s true that we’re but a tiny spec in the vastness of the universe… But it’s also true that we were created in the image and likeness of God – The same God Who created that universe
  • We each play a role in the salvation of the human race… it can either be a positive role or a negative one depending upon how we choose to see and live our lives
  • I’ll close with a quote from Paula D’Arcy who wrote: “The mind cannot fathom God.  Only the heart.  We are each only a player in a drama greater than anyone but God can conceive.  We can only play the role we are given.  The question is how we will play that role – and whether or not we’ll become increasingly aware that there is a new way to be here.  (That) It’s possible to live from a deeper awareness and to know ourselves as part of something much greater than our individual story.” (Waking Up to this Day; Pg 105).
     

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